The Humber River Regional Hospital closed this weekend. On Sunday morning at 6 am, the Church Street site shut its doors for the last time.
The hospital has moved to a new building at Keele and Wilson.
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The move, like the hospital, has been contentious. The future of the Church Street site is uncertain; the hospital board would like to sell it to pay a portion of their part of the bill (which is $200 million) but the city has a claim on some of the land.
Laura Albanese distanced herself from the move in a recent email circular, which included a very interesting passage:
The Province of Ontario does not own the land on which the HRH Church site is located. It is owned by the hospital…. Hospital leaders, including their Board of Directors, must take into account the overall public interest when making decisions .
If true, perhaps the Board might be held to a higher standard than pure profit and the land, perhaps, could be used for something other than another high-rise.
Is it good news when things aren’t as bad as they once were? If so, then we have some good news!
In 2007, Humber River Regional Hospital was one of the most dangerous hospitals in the country. It had the second worst mortality rate in Canada; the hospital even refused to release their numbers in 2007, the year it performed the worst. It was eventually forced to, and the results were quite shocking: 36% more people were dying there than were expected to. (Interesting trivia: George Smitherman, the Minister of Health at the time, and the person who forced them to release their data, was born at the HRRH Church Street site).
Since then, however, things have got better—much better. Their mortality rate has continued to improve every year, and this year, the HRRH is quite safe. Its mortality rate is 7% below average.¹
¹ My father is an epidemiologist. He would have a heart attack (hopefully at Mississauga’s Credit Valley Hospital, the best) if he saw me using stats like this. It’s complicated. It’s close enough, though.
Last Sunday, July 24, 31 Division officers patrolling at Weston and Church apprehended a young man who allegedly in addition to a quantity of marijuana, had a stolen .32 Smith and Wesson handgun in his possession. Judging by the nature of the charges against him, this young man is probably not a first-time offender. The police report did not mention if the officers were part of the TAVIS program or on regular patrol.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information measures hospital mortality rates in Canada and according to their latest statistics, Humber River Regional Hospital has steadily improved–to the point where this year, it has a lower than average death rate. The institute uses a benchmark of 100 to rate hospital mortality rates, and this year HRHH scored 96, having scored 106 and 117 in 2009 and 2008 respectively. This statistic is the average of all three locations of the hospital.
Having recently been a patient at the Church Street site I can attest that although the building is overcrowded and out of date, the personnel seem caring and competent. In fact our local version of HRRH is a community gem which provides employment and a valuable service to Weston residents.
Unfortunately, the Church St site will soon be closed. HRRH is amalgamating its three campuses into one facility at Keele and Wilson, at Downsview Park. Construction will probably start in late 2011. Little information is available about what will happen to the Church St site.